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  • Archive for October 16th, 2015

    Oct 16

    STRATEGIC ISSUES CONFERENCE – REGISTER NOW!

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    Register now for the 2015 Strategic Issues Conference, scheduled for November 5-6, 2015, at the beautiful Thunder Valley Casino Resort, Lincoln, CA. The CBPA Board and Legislative Committee Meeting is being held in conjunction with this event.

    The event will feature discussions with former Governor Pete Wilson, members of the Legislative Democrat “Mod Caucus,” and California transportation policy leaders.

    Eight major groups have come together to host this special event: California Business Properties Association (CBPA), the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), the Building Owners and Managers of California (BOMA CAL), the California Alliance for Jobs (CAJ), the California Building Industry Association (CBIA), the California Business Roundtable (CBRT), the California Manufacturers and Technology Association (CMTA), and the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA). The goal of the Strategic Issues Conference is to increase public policy and political awareness of state and national issues, and to foster collaborative efforts among business leaders from all sectors of the California economy.

    Your attendance will contribute greatly to achieving this goal, and will signal your strong support for the commercial, industrial, and retail real estate industry.

    Our special room rate has been extended if you book by Oct 21, only $119. Rooms at this special group rate are limited and available on a first-come-first-served basis, so reserve your room now. Contact Thunder Valley Casino Resort directly at 1-877-468-8777 — Reference Group Code 141105CBPA.

    Oct 16

    FIVE “MOD DEMS” ATTENDING STRATEGIC ISSUES CONFERENCE

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    A panel you don’t want to miss at the Strategic Issues Conference is hearing from five members of the Assembly’s Moderate Democrat Caucus – “the Mod Squad.”  The two stories below outlines how the group of moderates is seeking to find pragmatic answers to many of the issues being “debated” in the Legislature.

    A New Political Power: Mod Squad & Business – Fox & Hounds

    Moderate Assembly Democrats emerge as powerful pro-business force – San Jose Mercury News

    Oct 16

    TRANSPORTATION HEARINGS HIT THE ROAD

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    Additionally, the Strategic Issues Conference will focus on issues related to transportation infrastructure.  As you can see below, this is an extremely relevant and timely discussion.  Attending the SIC will put you at the forefront of knowledge on what is happening:

    The California Legislature’s Transportation Conference Committee is holding its first hearing today in Sacramento. At the hearing, they plan to examine various proposals to fund transportation infrastructure, with an emphasis on repairing California’s deteriorated highways, streets, and roads. The administration will present its funding proposal and the LAO will describe and compare this and other proposals.  The “Fix Our Road Coalition,” which we are a member, has worked with committee staff to line-up witnesses to provide testimony from the local government, labor and business perspectives.

    A second hearing is scheduled in Ontario on Wednesday October 21.  If you are near the hearing we highly encourage you to attend to represent commercial real estate and to provide public testimony about how important it is for the state to address our aging infrastructure.  Here are the details:

    Wednesday, October 21

    9am to 12:30pm

    Ontario City Hall

    City Council Chambers

    303 East “B” Street

    Ontario, CA 91764

     

    For more information, visit our coalition website by clicking here “Fix Our Roads Coalition.”

    Oct 16

    BUSINESS COMMUNITY ENJOYS SUCCESSFUL 2015 LEGISLATIVE SESSION

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    Chris Micheli is an attorney and lobbyist at the Sacramento government relations firm of Aprea & Micheli, Inc, and frequent collaborator with our association, provides the following wrap-up from the general business perspective on the recently completed legislative session:

    The just-concluded 2015 Legislative Session ended on a relatively good note for the California business community. While a number of bills sponsored or supported by the business community were not successful getting through the Legislature, several hard-fought bills opposed by California’s employers were vetoed by the Governor. In fact, all but one “Job Killers” opposed by the California Chamber of Commerce were defeated this year. Sixteen such bills did not even get to the Governor’s Desk, while three of them did, but the Governor vetoed two of those three measures.

    According to the Governor’s Office, Governor Brown signed 808 bills and vetoed 133 bills, for a total of 941 bills that reached his Desk this year. That is a 14% veto rate. There were just over 2,300 bills introduced this first year of the 2015-16 Session. Roughly 41% of the introduced bills got to the Governor’s Desk.

    The following is an overview of key measures of interest to the business community and their outcome this year:

    The proposed increase to the state’s minimum wage was rejected (SB 3), but there will likely be a statewide ballot measure in November 2016 sponsored by labor groups.

    • In a major victory against organized labor, the Governor vetoed a bill that would have banned employment arbitration agreements (AB 465).
    • Business-backed gender pay equity legislation was signed into law (SB 358).
    • Efforts to reform excessive litigation under California’s version of the Americans with Disabilities Act were met with limited success (AB 1251 was enacted). The main bill was vetoed because it contained a tax credit for small businesses (SB 251). The other major reform bills (SB 67, AB 52 and AB 54) all were held in policy committees.
    • Minor legal reform bills to promote judicial efficiency on summary judgment motions (SB 470) and expedited jury trials (AB 555) were enacted, but a measure that will create more hurdles in using demurrers passed over business’ objections (SB 383).
    • The Governor vetoed a proposed, significant expansion of the California Family Rights Act (SB 406).
    • The business community resolved concerns about a measure to provide the California Labor Commissioner with substantial, additional powers to address wage theft (SB 588).
    • In early successes, bills to increase employer costs for employees working on “family holidays” (AB 67) and one that would penalize scheduling changes (AB 357) were defeated.
    • The only “Job Killer” that got enacted this year could impose a costly employee retention mandate on grocery businesses (AB 359).
    • The Governor did sign a business-opposed bill that expands the Labor Commissioner’s powers to enforce local minimum wage laws (AB 970).
    • The business community resolved their concerns about a measure on franchise agreements (AB 525).
    • Unfortunately, the Governor vetoed all of the bills that would have created or increased tax credits in this state, including those for research and development (AB 437), phantom income on home short sales (AB 99), and insurance tax credits (SB 377).
    • The Governor did sign the first omnibus federal tax conformity bill enacted in the last five years (AB 154).
    • Efforts to address over-warning and excessive Prop. 65 lawsuits did not pass out of the policy committee (AB 543) nor did one to limit lawsuits against small businesses under Prop. 65 (AB 1252).
    • An effort to prohibit employers from seeking a job applicant’s prior salary history was vetoed by the Governor (AB 1017).
    • An important measure that will limit certain types of lawsuits involving employee wage statements was enacted (AB 1506).
    • The targeted tax increase measures were all defeated in the Legislature, including those on tobacco (SB 591) and sodas (AB 1357).
    • Legislation to increase taxes on corporations with high CEO salaries did not get heard (SB 684), nor did a measure to create a split roll property tax system (SCA 5), nor a measure to make public certain change of ownership information (AB 567).

    You can read the text of bills and legislative analysis by clicking here.

    If you have any questions or want to talk with Chris, he can be reached at this email address, cmicheli@apreamicheli.com.

    Oct 16

    SPLIT ROLL ADVOCATES PUSH FOR $9B TAX INCREASE

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    Forbes Magazine takes a closer look at the “split roll” debate in California.  The story, states in part, “there is a group thinking about changing Prop 13: a labor-union-backed organization called Make It Fair. Using scare tactics and us-against-them rhetoric to garner support, Make It Fair contends that loopholes in Proposition 13 allow a small number of ‘giant corporations’ and ‘wealthy commercial property owners’ to get around paying the property taxes that they could easily afford. In reality, though, the ‘loopholes’ that Make It Fair seeks to close are in place to protect residential and commercial real-estate owners at all places on the economic ladder.

    Click here to read the article “Anti-Growth ‘Make It Fair’ Lobby Pushes For $9 Billion Tax Increase In California.”

    Oct 16

    SIGN/VETO WATCH

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    The 2015 California Legislative Session is over. Throughout the past year, your Sacramento staff tracked over 400 bills on a broad array of topics including Greenhouse Gas Issues, CEQA, ADA, Mandatory Benchmarking, Taxes, AED, and a host of issues that would impact your business from sick leave policy to water conservation. Yes, issues that impact the commercial real estate industry extremely varied!

    Below is a list of the top-priority bills that made it through the Legislative Process and a to the Governor’s Desk for action, along with a summary, our position, and a link to read the bill.  The Governor has until Sunday at Midnight to take action on these bills:

    Oct 16

    ADA BILLS

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    AB 1230 (Gomez D) California Americans With Disabilities Small Business Capital Access Loan Program. Provides up to $50K in low interest loans for eligible ADA projects.

    • Establishes the California Americans with Disabilities Act Small Business Capital Access Loan Program within the Capital Access Loan Program,
    • Self-sustaining program to provide loans to assist small businesses in financing the costs of projects that alter or retrofit existing small business facilities,
    • “small business” defined as i) Fifteen or fewer full-time equivalent employees; ii) Less than $1 million in total gross annual income

    ·        “Eligible project” means the physical alterations or retrofits to an existing small business facility of less than 10,000 square feet necessary to ensure that facility is in compliance with the ADA.

    Status: SIGNED INTO LAW

    Position: SUPPORT

    AB 1521 (Committee on Judiciary) Construction-related accessibility claims.

    • Provides information and legal resources to small business owners to minimize their liability for ADA violations and/or respond to a lawsuit filed against them.

    ·        limits high-volume lawsuits motivated by quick settlement with business owners, rather than correction of ADA violations.  o    New demand letter requirements.o    Defines a “high-frequency litigant” (HFL); filed 10 or more complaints alleging violations of construction-related accessibility standards in the past 12 months; or an attorney who has represented 10 or more such plaintiffs in the past year. o    HFLs who file new claims have a) A higher filing fee; b) Special pleading requirements; and c) Certification by the attorney that, among other things, the complaint is not being presented primarily for an improper purpose. o    Requires attorney notification to CCDA about how their claims are resolved.

    Status: SIGNED INTO LAW

    Position: SUPPORT

    SB 251 (Roth D) Disability access: civil rights: income tax credit.

    This bill, seeks promote ADA compliance among small businesses by allowing a business owner 90 days from the date of a CASp inspection to fix violations before being subject to liability

    • protects small businesses from liability for certain violations if the business corrected the violation within 15 days of receiving notice of the potential violation.

    ·        creates tax incentives for businesses to correct violations·        requires the State Architect and the California Commission on Disability Compliance to post specified information to their respective Web sites for the purpose of

    Status: VETOED based on Governor rejecting all “tax credit” measures.  Read the veto message here.

    Position: SUPPORT

    AB 1342 (Steinorth R) Enacts measures intended to promote disability access compliance.

    Facilitate more property owners to seek a CASp certification in order to assure their properties are in compliance with the law. This certification will also lessen the number of unnecessary lawsuits while increasing access.

    • Makes it easier for business owners to find a Certified Access Specialist (CASp) by requiring the State Architect and CCDA to post information on how to find one locally.
    • Revises requirement for commercial property owners to state on lease agreements information about the condition of the leased property.
    • Extends the $1 business license to fund the Disability Access and Education Revolving Fund.

    Status: VETOED based on impact on the General Fund.  Read the veto message here.

    Position: SUPPORT

    AB 662 (Bonilla D) ADA Mandate; Adult Changing Tables.

    Would require a person, private firm, organization, or corporation that owns or manages a commercial place of public amusement, as defined, constructed on or after January 1, 2020, or renovated on or after January 1, 2025, to install and maintain at least one adult changing station, as defined, for a person with a physical disability, as specified. The bill would require a facility to ensure that the entrance to each adult changing station has conspicuous signage indicating its location, and, if the facility has a central directory, ensure that the central directory indicates the location of the adult changing station.

    • We OPPOSE this bill because it specifically circumvents the building code process and puts building code in statute.
    • We have requested a veto and asked the Governor to ask for a bill that directs the appropriate state agencies to work on this through the normal building code process.
    • As written, we are concerned this bill will expose impacted properties to unnecessary ADA lawsuits.

    Status: SIGNED INTO LAW

    Position: OPPOSE

    Oct 16

    ENERGY & BUILDING CODE ISSUES

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    AB 802 (Williams D) Energy efficiency.

    Current law requires the Energy Commission to prepare an integrated energy policy report every 2 years and requires the report to include an assessment and forecast of system reliability and the need for resource additions, efficiency, and conservation that considers certain criteria. This bill would require the Energy Commission, in consultation with the Public Utilities Commission, to make all reasonable adjustments to its energy demand forecasts conducted pursuant to the above-described provisions to account for its findings of market conditions and existing baselines, and in making those adjustments, would authorize the commission to consider the results from specified programs.

    Status: SIGNED INTO LAW

    Position: SUPPORT

    AB 1236 (Chiu D) Local ordinances: electric vehicle charging stations.

    Would require a city, county, or city and county to approve an application for the installation of electric vehicle charging stations, as defined, through the issuance of specified permits unless the city or county makes specified written findings based upon substantial evidence in the record that the proposed installation would have a specific, adverse impact upon the public health or safety, and there is no feasible method to satisfactorily mitigate or avoid the specific, adverse impact.

    Status: SIGNED INTO LAW

    Position: OPPOSE

    SB 119 (Hill D) Protection of subsurface installations.

    Current law defines a subsurface installation as any underground pipeline, conduit, duct, wire, or other structure. Current law requires an operator of a subsurface installation, who receives notification of proposed excavation work, within 2 working days of that notification, excluding weekends and holidays, to mark the approximate location and number of subsurface installations that may be affected by the excavation or to advise that no subsurface installations operated by him or her would be affected. This bill, the Dig Safe Act of 2015, would declare the need to clarify and revise these provisions. The bill would define and redefine various terms relating to a regional notification center.

    Status: VETOED.  Read the Veto Message here.

    Position: SUPPORT

    SB 350 (De León D) Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015.

    Would require that the amount of electricity generated and sold to retail customers per year from eligible renewable energy resources be increased to 50% by December 31, 2030, as provided. The bill would make other revisions to the RPS Program and to certain other requirements on public utilities and publicly owned electric utilities. This bill contains other related provisions and other existing laws.

    Status: SIGNED INTO LAW.  Read message from Governor here.

    Position: WITHDREW OPPOSITION

    Oct 16

    REDEVELOPMENT/LOCAL GOV FINANCING/INFRASTRUCTURE

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    AB 2 (Alejo D) Community revitalization authority

    Would authorize certain local agencies to form a community revitalization authority (authority) within a community revitalization and investment area, as defined, to carry out provisions of the Community Redevelopment Law in that area for purposes related to, among other things, infrastructure, affordable housing, and economic revitalization.

    Status: SIGNED INTO LAW

    Position: SUPPORT

    AB 313 (Atkins D) Enhanced infrastructure financing districts.

    Would require, after the adoption of a resolution of intention to establish the proposed district, the legislative body to send a copy of the resolution to the public financing authority. This bill would revise the duties of the public financing authority after the resolution of intention to establish the proposed district has been adopted, so that the public financing authority, instead of the legislative body, will perform the specified duties related to the preparation, proposal, and adoption of the infrastructure financing plan and the adoption of the formation of the district. Status: SIGNED INTO LAW

    Position: SUPPORT

    SB 107 (Budget Cmte) Redevelopment agencies and community development agencies.

    As of February 1, 2012, and provides for the designation of successor agencies to wind down the affairs of the dissolved redevelopment agencies and to, among other things, make payments due for enforceable obligations and to perform obligations required pursuant to any enforceable obligation. This bill would provide that any action by the Department of Finance, that occurred on or after June 28, 2011, carrying out the department’s obligations under the provisions described above constitutes a department action for the preparation, development, or administration of the state budget and is exempt from the Administrative Procedures Act.

    Status: SIGNED INTO LAW

    Position: MONITOR

    Click here for more information on these bills.

     

    Governor Signs Local Infrastructure Financing Bill

    Oct 16

    AUTOMATED EXTERNAL DEFIBRILLATORS

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    SB 287 (Hueso D) Automated external defibrillators (AEDs).

    Would require certain occupied structures that are not owned or operated by any local government entity and are constructed on or after January 1, 2017, to have an AED on the premises. The bill would require a person or entity that supplies an AED to comply with specified existing law regarding AEDs, and would exempt a person or entity that acquires an AED for emergency care from liability for civil damages resulting from any acts or omissions in the rendering of emergency care if certain requirements have been met. The bill would make these provisions operative on January 1, 2017.

    Status: SIGNED INTO LAW

    Position: SUPPORT

    SB 658 (Hill D) Automated external defibrillators.

    Would provide an exemption from civil liability for a physician and surgeon or other health care professional that is involved in the selection, placement, or installation of an AED. The bill would require a person or entity, other than a health facility as defined, that acquires an AED to, among other things, comply with specified regulations for the placement of the device and ensure that the AED is maintained and tested as specified.

    Status: SIGNED INTO LAW

    Position: SUPPORT

    Oct 16

    AFFORDABLE HOUSING

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    AB 35 (Chiu D) Income taxes: credits: low-income housing: allocation increase.

    Would, for calendar years 2016 through 2021, inclusive, would increase the aggregate housing credit dollar amount that may be allocated among low-income housing projects by $100,000,000, as specified. The bill, under the insurance taxation law, the Personal Income Tax Law, and the Corporation Tax Law, would modify the definition of applicable percentage relating to qualified low-income buildings that meet specified criteria.

    Status: VETOED.  Read Governor’s message here.

    Position: SUPPORT

    Oct 16

    COST OF CONSTRUCTION/LAND USE

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    AB 219 (Daly D) Public works: concrete delivery.

    Current law defines “public works,” for purposes of requirements regarding the payment of prevailing wages for public works projects, to include, among other things, the hauling of refuse from a public works site to an outside disposal location with respect to contracts involving any state agency. This bill would expand the definition of “public works” for these purposes to include the hauling and delivery of ready-mixed concrete, as defined, to carry out a public works contract, with respect to contracts involving any state agency or any political subdivision of the state.

    Status: SIGNED INTO LAW.

    Position: OPPOSE

    AB 251 (Levine D) Public works: public subsidies.

    Would provide that a public subsidy is de minimis if it is both less than $250,000 and less than 2% of the total project cost. The bill would specify that those provisions do not apply to a project that was advertised for bid, or a contract that was awarded, before July 1, 2016.

    Status: VETOED – READ VETO MESSAGE

    Position: OPPOSE

    AB 428 (Nazarian D) Income taxes: credit: seismic retrofits.

    Would allow, for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2017, and before January 1, 2022, a tax credit under both the Personal Income Tax Law and the Corporation Tax Law in an amount equal to 30% of the qualified costs paid or incurred by a qualified taxpayer for any seismic retrofit construction on a qualified building, as provided. The bill would require a taxpayer, in order to be eligible for the credit, to obtain 2 certifications from the appropriate jurisdiction with authority for building code enforcement of the area in which the building is located.

    Status: VETOED.  READ VETO MESSAGE

    Position: SUPPORT

    AB 504 (Gonzalez D) Local Planning; Non-Profit Groups

    Would, authorize a city to delegate to a nonprofit public benefit corporation the performance of ministerial planning functions, as defined, and require that the city retain all nonministerial planning functions.

    Status: VETOED – VETO MESSAGE

    Position: OPPOSE

    AB 744 (Chau D) Planning and zoning: density bonuses.

    Current law prohibits a city, county, or city and county from requiring a vehicular parking ratio for a housing development that meets specified criteria in excess of specified ratios. This bill would, notwithstanding the above-described provisions, additionally prohibit, at the request of the developer, a city, county, or city and county from imposing a vehicular parking ratio, inclusive of handicapped and guest parking, in excess of 0.5 spaces per bedroom on a development that includes the maximum percentage of low- or very low income units, as specified, and is located within 1/2 mile of a major transit stop, as defined, and there is unobstructed access to the transit stop from the development.

    Status: SIGNED INTO LAW.

    Position: OPPOSE

    AB 764 (Quirk D) Parking Lot Design; Bollards.

    Would require the California Building Standards Commission, in collaboration with the State Architect and the State Fire Marshal, to consider standards, and to update standards as it determines necessary, for the installation of vehicle barriers, as specified, to protect persons located within, or in or on the property of, buildings, or to protect pedestrians, from collisions into those buildings by motor vehicles.

    Status: VETOED.

    Position: MON/OPPOSE